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Preparations To Protect Humans And Pets Before and During Blizzard

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Sonora, CA – With a blizzard barreling down on the Mother Lode region over the next several days, Tuolumne and Calaveras County emergency officials outline and give tips on how to stay safe.

As we reported earlier, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Blizzard Warning for the Mother Lode, Yosemite National Park, and the western slope of the northern Sierra Nevada, from 4 a.m. Thursday until 10 a.m. on Sunday, click here for the latest weather forecast. Through NWS updates, Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services (OES) Assistant Director Dore Bietz says her office, along with county fire, sheriff, public works, etc., are “staying situational aware.” She explains, “This could mean adding additional staff or resources to anticipate any needs during the event. Staying situational aware means we have the latest info and have a plan should services be needed.” She added, “We as a county are discussing prepositioning of resources with operational area partners such as fire and law enforcement. We do not anticipate opening any resilience centers, as our Extreme Temperature Contingency Plan thresholds will not have been met. We do however have a contingency plan for staffing the resilience centers or other locations if needed for extended power outages as a result of the storm.”

Sharing that this storm could impact more than three-quarters of the county, OES offers this information to the public:

  • Mountain travel will be nearly impossible Thursday-Weekend, with 5–12 FEET of snow forecast above 5000 feet. AVOID TRAVEL DURING THIS TIME! If you attempt to travel, be prepared for whiteout conditions & extended road closures. Bring extra food, water, & warm clothing.
  • Take the time before the storm to prepare. Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including food and medication. Remember the needs of your pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
  • Be prepared for winter weather at home, at work, and in your car. Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks. Keep a full tank of gas.

The public is also asked to check on vulnerable neighbors by reaching out to elderly neighbors, those with disabilities, or anyone who may need assistance to ensure they are prepared and have what they need.

Calaveras County OES is also offering similar tips, including where to get sandbags, click here.

Tuolumne County Animal Control is also offering these tips for pets:

  • Adequate shelter and warmth must be provided for animals to keep warm and out of harsh weather conditions.
  • Be sure medications are current and filled
  • Food is stocked and ready

Regarding livestock and farm animals, shelter officials advise owners to be sure that:

  • troughs do not freeze over
  • vulnerable and young animals have heat lamps that can be run by backup generators
  • Blankets and other winter equipment are ready for wearing
  • feed is stocked up
  • shelter is adequate
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